Tesla’s Autopilot name lacks ‘common sense’, top US regulator says

Tesla and its Autopilot driver assistance system have a habit of making headlines and today is no exception, with US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg being involved on this occasion.

During an interview with Bloomberg News In Washington, Buttigieg said the US electric vehicle company’s use of the name Autopilot is nonsense and a concern.

“I wouldn’t call something ‘autopilot’ if the manual explicitly says you have to have your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times,” Buttigieg was quoted as saying by Automotive News. “That doesn’t say anything about the scope of the NHTSA investigation, I’m just saying at the level of common sense. I think that’s a concern.”

As a reminder, Tesla’s technology is still considered a Level 2 driver assistance system, based on the SAE Levels of Driving Automation, primarily because the driver always has to monitor the car’s actions; otherwise, the system is deactivated.

Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is an agency of the Department of Transportation, announced that Tesla will recall more than 360,000 vehicles because of its Beta Full-Self Driving (FSD) driver assistance feature. ) increases the risk of having a crash. However, FSD costs an extra $15,000 and is on top of the basic Autopilot, which is present in every new Tesla sold today.

As a result of the withdrawal, the rollout of the FSD feature is halted for new users and subscribers who have not received the software update yet, while those who already have FSD Beta active will be able to continue using it.

In addition, NHTSA is investigating possible Autopilot defects and evaluating Tesla’s driver tracking methods to ensure their participation, while the Justice Department is investigating whether the EV maker has made misleading claims about its driver assistance systems. driver.

As a reminder, Tesla states that Autopilot features require “active supervision by the driver and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

More recently, the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said that Tesla’s next generation of EVs will operate “almost entirely in autonomous mode,” without going so far as to call upcoming EVs “autonomous.”

As always, we’d like to know what you think about this, so scroll down to the comments section below and let us know what you think.

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